NIA team probes source of Maoist weapons

Hazaribag: A three-member team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Delhi on Sunday visited Silodar forest from where foreign made weapons were recovered early this week.

Police had recovered US made Colt and Hart manufactured M-16 rifle, Italian pistol and UK manufactured bulletproof jacket from arms supplier Prafulla Malakar and Maoist zonal commander Anil Yadav.

The recovery was made from the Silodar forest located on the border of Barachatti police station of Gaya (Bihar) and Chouparan police station (Jharkhand) during an operation on August 29.

Hazaribagh SP Manoj Kaushik said the NIA team, headed by Ashim Biswas, an additional superintendent of police along with two inspectors, visited the exact place of Silodar forest from where and how the weapons exclusively used by the US Army were recovered. “They are also trying to know the link of the supplier and are studying whether it is entering the forests of Bihar or Jharkhand or collecting through the smugglers of arms or not. The main purpose of the investigating agency is to know the source from where and from which route the foreign made arms are reaching Bihar and Jharkhand jungles which are the dens of the Maoists,” the SP said adding that it was also being analyzed whether the Maoists were having any link with the foreign militants.

The duo – Malakar and Yadav who were remanded in judicial custody – are lodged in a high security cell of the Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan Central Jail here. “Police have taken them on seven-day remand. We have been allowed to interrogate in a closed room of the jail along with the NIA team,” said the SP.

Once the names of the top leaders of the Maoists and the places where the arms were supplied by Malakar to the Maoists in Jharkhand and Bihar are known, fresh raids will be conducted.

The in-charge of Bihar and Jharkhand armoury, who is still in his early 20, had joined the Maoists at the tender age of five years and has been thoroughly trained by the top guerillas of the rebels, the SP said. “His arrest and recovery of foreign made weapons have totally upset the top Maoists leaders of the country as this may be a big setback for the Red rebels in the country.”

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